Report No. 219
Need for Family Law Legislations for Non-Resident Indians
I The Problems in Brief
1.1 Many a man and woman of this land with different personal laws have migrated and are migrating to different countries either to make their permanent abode there or for temporary residence. Likewise there is also immigration of the nationals of other countries. The advancement in communication and transportation has also made it easier for individuals to hop from one country to another.
It is also not unusual to come across cases where citizens of this country have been contracting marriages either in this country or abroad with nationals of the other countries or among themselves, or having married here, either both or one of them migrate to other countries. There are also cases where parties having married here have been either domiciled or residing separately in different foreign countries. This migration, temporary or permanent, has also been giving rise to various kinds of matrimonial disputes destroying in its turn the family and its peace.1
1. Y. Narasimha Rao vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi, JT 1991 (3) SC 33
1.2 Abandoned bride in distress due to runaway foreign country resident Indian spouse, stressed non-resident Asian parent frantically searching spouse in India who has removed their child from a foreign jurisdiction in violation of a foreign court order, desperate parent seeking child support and maintenance, non-resident spouse seeking enforcement of foreign divorce decree in India, agitated children of deceased non-resident Indian turning turtle in trying to seek transfer of property in India and its repatriation to foreign shores, anxious and excited foreign adoptive parents desperately trying to resolve Indian legal formalities for adopting a child in India, bewildered officials of a foreign High Commission trying to understand the customary practices of marriage and divorce exclusively saved by Indian legislation, foreign police officials trying to understand intricacies of Indian law in apprehending offenders of law on foreign soil: these are some instances of problems arising every day from cross-border migration.
1.3 There are a large number of legal issues that concern a sizeable section of the Global Indian Community residing abroad. Though the non-resident Indians have increased multifold in foreign jurisdictions, family law disputes and situations are handicapped for want of proper professional information and advice on Indian laws. The lure for settling in foreign jurisdictions attracts a sizeable Indian population but the problems created by such migration largely remain unresolved.